Powell v. Keel, No. 28033 (S.C. 2021)
Nature of Case: Respondent was convicted of sex offenses and, under South Carolina law, was required to register for life as a sex offender. Thereafter, he brought a declaratory judgment action alleging that the lifetime registration requirement was unconstitutional on a number of grounds, and that state law did not provide for the dissemination of registry information via the internet. The trial court found for the Respondent, holding that the lifetime requirement was unconstitutional and that state law did not permit dissemination of registration information via the internet. The state appealed.
Holding: The South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the lifetime registration requirement — absent any opportunity for review of one’s likelihood of reoffense — violated Due Process. Furthermore, the Court held that state law did permit the dissemination of registry information via the internet.